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WhatsApp Pay – The What’s, How’s, and What-ifs

Whatsapp pay

Knock knock! Who’s there? WhatsApp Pay? Pay for what? Ahh, forget it. We need an introduction.

Welcome, WhatsApp Pay to India this month-end. Been awaited since quite a while now, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is all set to launch its much-anticipated payment system in India by the end of May. The payment platform is going to make its base in the country in partnership with three different private banks – ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, and HDFC Bank, as sources report. It is also reported that the State Bank Of India is not ready to roll out the product in the first phase.

As per previous reports a few weeks back, The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) granted its permission to WhatsApp to formally start its payments services in India albeit in a phased manner.

UPI-based payment features are quite a craze in recent times. Undoubtedly with the introduction of WhatsApp Pay, the welcome will be warm and the acceptance will be huge. At the same time, the brand new payment UPI would be a competition to the already existing ones. 

What is WhatsApp Pay?

First launched in 2018 February in India as a trial run, WhatsApp Pay is an in-chat payment feature that allows users to make transactions via WhatsApp to their contact list. It is a UPI-based payment service that allows transactions both to and from a particular contact. 

How to enable and use WhatsApp Pay?

To use WhatsApp Pay, one must initiate a payment request to a particular contact. Once the request is received, the user can set up their UPI account on WhatsApp to use the platform full-fledged. 

WhatsApp Pay can be used to send money directly through WhatsApp chat. All that is needed is to tap on the share file icon and select the payment option. The “payment” section can be seen on the shortcut menu where users can find all their transaction history as well as account details and bank balance under the said section.

How does the payment system work?

WhatsApp Pay, like any other payment systems, works on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) method. Fund transfers can be initiated without the need for a bank account and IFSC codes of recipients.   

Modes of Transaction for WhatsApp Pay

WhatsApp Pay allows transactions only within the contacts of a particular user, after which it enables UPI ID. Any user who receives the UPI ID can send money within their contact list. For people who are not in their contact list, a user can use QR code to transact. 

Will WhatsApp Pay create a buzz or will it fade away in the plethora of UPI payment services, that still remains to be answered. With multiple numbers of UPI Payment services in India already running fine and gaining popularity, chances are high that WhatsApp gets unnoticed and overlooked in the crowd of Ali Baba backed Paytm, Google’s Google Pay app, Phone Pe and Mobikwik that are quite sought after at present. However, keeping in mind the huge popularity of WhatsApp and its massive user base of 400 million people, who knows it might pretty easily overtake the already existing payment platforms.

Time will definitely tell. Till then, we wait for the launch day of WhatsApp Pay. 


Shreya Bhattacharya
Loves to read, write, sleep, repeat! A die-hard tech-lover with a soft corner for latest gadgets, and good photography. If not writing, found clicking sunsets, and selfies (not necessarily in the same order). Mostly found in her cozy study corner with random books, coffee, and floor cushions!

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